The shambling corpses need to quit shambling eventually, with the announcement that AMC’s zombie opus The Walking Dead will be ending with with an “expanded two-year eleventh season,” with episodes now planned to air throughout the end of 2022.
Season 10 of the Robert Kirkman-adaptation is set to conclude its run in the next few weeks, returning on October 4th for a delayed finale. The Walking Dead last aired a new episode this past April. Furthermore, six additional episodes--considered a part of Season 10--are set to air in 2021, with Season 11’s 24 episodes to run over the course of 2021 and 2022, presumably in 12-episode chunks. Or, seasons, as we used to call them.
The “split season” is of course not a novel concept, employed by AMC with Breaking Bad‘s fifth season’s 16 episodes aired in 8-episode “mini-seasons” across 2012 and ’13.
In addition to the news, it’s been confirmed that popular mainstays Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) will receive their own spin-off series set for 2023, to be developed by current Walking Dead showrunner Angela King.
The Daryl/Carol series joins The Walking Dead: World Beyond (set for premiere sometime this year) and Fear the Walking Dead (whose sixth season premieres October 11th) as another series set to expand the zombie mega-franchise.
The Walking Dead originally premiered on October 31st, 2010, and was almost instantly a smash-hit for its grotesque production design and hit cast of characters, led originally by upstanding Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Though the character left the main run, it’s been said that Lincoln will repirse the role for a feature length production in yet another spin-off.
The series has maintained a steady viewership, with its fifth season premiere breaking US records.
Though the end is now in sight, that’s still a whole lot of television to get through over the next two years, and more spin-off series and movies than you can shake a severed limb at. All things must end, and new things must begin, but maybe The Walking Dead is destined to keep on keeping on. For more details, stay tuned.